Business Opportunity – Compostable Plastic Bags

Compostable plastic bags are plastic bags that decompose into natural components such as carbon, water and biomass upon their contact with soil. As per DS6400, the most widely recognised international standard for compostable plastics, such plastics should completely disintegrate into natural components within 180 days in composting environment.

India generates huge amount of plastic waste (nearly 15,000 tonnes per day). It is estimated that only around 60 per cent of this waste is recycled and remaining gets dumped in the landfills and other places. Prominent among non-recyclable plastics are poly bags made from Polyethylene (PE), which can take up to 100 years to disintegrate.

Plastic bags have been completely banned in Maharashtra[1] (except for milk packets and some specific applications). Further, 17 States and Union Territories in the country have imposed partial ban on these bags with restriction on the thickness of the bags to minimum 50 microns. Increasing awareness about environmentally sustainable products along with restrictions on the usage of plastic bags have improved the prospects of compostable bags.

What are compostable Plastics?

Compostable plastics can be made out of bio based or petroleum based compounds (Resins) as shown below.

Figure1: Types of compostable plastics

Currently, the market for compostable resins is small, at around 1 million tonnes[2] (less than 0.5% of world’s annual plastic consumption of 320 million tonnes). These resins are patented by large multinationals such as BASF, NOVAMONT and have to be purchased from them or their dealers, thus resulting in higher price and limited availability. However, their consumption is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 20% over the next five years[3], and with the rise in demand, the availability of such plastics is likely to increase and their prices would become competitive.

How do compostable bags compare with conventional bags?

Compostable resins’ tensile strength, printability and weight bearing capacities are similar to that of conventional polymers such as Polyethylene (PE). In fact, in some specific applications, compostable resin may offer higher density and tensile strength as compared to  PE, thus resulting in requirement of less tonnage of the resin vis-à-vis PE.

However, currently, the compostable plastic resin is 2-3 times costlier than the conventional resins. Further, the costs of processing these resins into products such as bags are also higher due to smaller size of the processing capacities. As a result, these bags are 3 times as costly as conventional bags. For example, a medium size compostable garbage bags is currently priced at Rs. 220 (for a pack of 30 bags) as compared to a price of Rs. 70-80 for similar conventional bags.

What are the international and domestic standards for compostable Plastics?

There are a number of standards for compostable plastics including ASM D6400 (USA) and EN 13432 (Europe) and ISO 17088.

An Indian manufacturer of compostable plastic bags has to obtain a certification from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for selling compostable bags and related products. The certification process requires the product to be tested in a government authorised lab to check its compliance to ISO 17088.

Table 1. International Standards for compostable bags
S.NoStandardization BodyStandard
1ASTM – American Society for Testing and MaterialsASTM D6400
2European StandardsEN 13432, EN 14995
3ISO – International Organization for StandardizationISO 17088

Is manufacturing compostable bags complex?

No, the manufacturing is very simple and is a two-step process; first the resin is processed into a film through a blown film manufacturing machine, the film is then cut, printed and sliced as per the bag sizes. Currently most Indian manufacturers use conventional LDPE blown film machinery for sheet extrusion. The resin is either directly imported from the manufacturers (list of bioplastic resin manufacturers is available in Table.2), or their dealers.

Table 2. Bio Resin manufacturers
S.NoCompanyCountry
1BASFGermany
2Bio-FedGermany
3CarbioliceFrance
4FKuR KunststofGermany
5NatureWorksNetherland
6NovamontItaly

Is there a market for compostable bags?

The demand for compostable bags is rising driven by growing concern about the environment and changing regulatory landscape. The waste management regulations in India are getting more stringent about handling and disposal of all types of waste including plastic. Therefore, specific segment of the market such as trash bags, bags for nurseries are witnessing a lot of interest from supermarkets, retail chains etc.

Given the demand, a number of new manufacturers have entered the market in past two years. The number of CBCB registered manufacturers of compostable bags has increased to 12 from just 2/3 a couple of years back ( a list of CPCB approved vendors is available here ).

The usage of other biodegradable/environmentally sustainable products is also increasing. Recently McDonald’s India has proposed to replace its plastic cutlery with a combination of wooden and biodegradable plastic cutlery ( available in this link: McDonald’s India kicks out plastics )

How much capital is required and what will be the profitability?

The capital requirements would depend on the machinery and the scale of operations. For example, a blown film machine of a capacity of 15-20 tonnes a month available for around Rs. 30 lakhs. However a European machinery (smallest capacity of 400 kg per hour) specifically made to handle bioplastics can cost more than Rs. 3 crores.

The minimum capital requirement including working capital is likely to be over Rs. 60 lakhs. The overall profitability and return on investment would be contingent on the manufacturer’s ability to secure regular orders and keep processing costs under control.

What are the key challenges?

  • Most states do not have a policy on regulation of usage of compostable plastic bags currently. The guidelines on allowing such bags in retail market would be critical for the growth of the industry.
  • The processing machinery is designed for conventional plastic, which can withstand higher temperature as compared to compostable plastics. Therefore getting the right product requires a number of trials.
  • The certification process for compostable bags is time consuming and can take up to 6-8 months.

[1] As per the circular, dated 10th July 2018 of Maharashtra Environment department, the compostable plastic bags are allowed for horticulture, agriculture, and handling of solid waste.
[2] Source: Global production of bioplastics, a publication by European bioplastics
[3] Source: European-bioplastics.org

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We can help you start a compostable plastic bags manufacturing unit through a number of services including viability assessment, market landscaping and technical consultation

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Business Opportunity – Amla Processing

Amla or Aonla commonly known as Indian gooseberry, is known for its medicinal properties. It is used across a number of industries including Aurvedic medicines, Cosmetics and Food products.

The production of Amla was 9.89 lakh tonnes in FY 17, with majority of it coming from Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Madhya Pradesh (M.P).

Figure 1: Amla production and top producing states[1]

What are the key Amla based products and its manufacturing process?

Amla Candy: Amla candies are made by cutting the fruit and coating it with sugar syrup at different brix values. The fruit pieces are then dried to bring down the moisture content and coated with sugar powder, to prevent them from sticking to each other.

Amla Supari: The process is similar to that of the candy. Natural colouring agents, flavours such as mint & dry fruits are added for taste and appearance.

Amla Juice: Washed Amla fruits are transferred to shredder, Amla juice thus extracted, sterilized and packed in bottles.

Amla Powder: Amla powder is used in herbal & cosmetic industry. The fruit as a whole is dried, pulverised and packaged as per the requirements.

What is the machinery and capital required for Amla processing?

Amla processing doesn’t require large investment in machinery and infrastructure. The machinery and capital requirements are presented in Table.1

Table 1: Budget for Amla processing plant
ProductUsage/MarketMachineryTotal Budget
Amla CandyRetailAmla breaking machine, steam jacketed kettle, tray dryer and packaging machine.The budget including machinery for a capacity of 1 tonne per day and working capital would be ₹40 lakhs
Amla Supari
Amla JuiceRetail & CommercialAmla shredding machine, hydraulic press, storage tank with steam jacket and packaging machine.The budget including machinery for a capacity of 2 tonne per day and working capital would be ₹20 lakhs.
Amla PowderRetail & CommercialDryer, pulveriser and packaging machineryAmla powder making plant can be established within ₹ 10 lakhs

Why Amla Processing is an attractive opportunity?

Growing popularity of alternate medicines, health foods and herbal products are driving the demand for Amla based products. The potential for Amla extract as a food ingredient is increasing significantly, owing to the growing global nutraceuticals and functional food market.

As per a report by consumer data analytics firm Nielsen India, sales of personal care products made of natural, herbal and Ayurveda ingredients are growing 1.7 times as fast as the overall market. Given the shift towards natural products, large consumer goods companies such as Colgate, Hindustan Lever are also introducing natural variants of their products. Since Amla is a rich source of vitamin C, a very powerful antioxidant and anti-ageing vitamin, usage of Amla in cosmetics and food products will continue to grow, thus making Amla processing an attractive opportunity.

What are the challenges?

Amla is a highly perishable fruit with a short shelf life of 5-6 days. Hence, the plant runs only during the harvesting period i.e. from October to February. The plant can be used to process other products such as Fruit based bars (Guava, Mango, Pineapple, etc). One may need to invest in addional machinery such as peeler/ pulper/mixer depending on the fruit.

Other challenges for the new entrants is to create a market for their brand, which will have to compete with the well established players. Based on the product portfolio, retail network has to be established.

How can we help?

We can help you start an “Amla Processing Unit” through a number of services including viability assessment, market landscaping, technical consultation and project execution support.

[1] Horticultural Statistics at a Glance 2017 – National Horticulture Board

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Business Opportunity in Turmeric Processing

Business Opportunity in Turmeric Processing

Turmeric (botanical name-Curcuma Longa), one of the most important spice crops in India, is used to colour and flavour the food products.The yellow pigmented fraction of Turmeric (Curcumin,)is used as a colourant in food products and also as an anti-inflammatory agent in medicinal formulations.

India is the largest Turmeric producer in the world, with an annual production of nearly 10 lakh tonnes, accounting for nearly 80 per cent of world’s production. In India, Telangana is one of the largest producers of Turmeric, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Maharashtra (see picture 1).

In FY 17, India produced 10.51 Lakh tonnes[1] of Turmeric, of which nearly 1.1 lakh tonnes valued at Rs. 1200 crores was exported. Additionally, India exported Turmeric based oleo resins and Turmeric oil, valued at around Rs. 400 crores.

 

 

Turmeric processing technology

Turmeric can be processed into two products Turmeric powder and Turmeric extracts including oleo resins and Turmeric oils.Turmeric oleo resins/oils are extracted through solvent extraction of turmeric powder. The solvent extraction plant can process a variety of spices including Capsicum, Pepper, Amla, Marigold etc. A plant of a capacity of 500 kg per day requires land of 20,000 square ft. and power load of 60 HP.

Since the extracts (oleo resins) are used in food preparation/pharmaceuticals and largely cater to exports, the oleo resin extraction operations have to be compliant with the USFDA, and European food safety guidelines. The companies that manufacture extracts usually obtain certifications such as HCAAP, Kosher, and Halal.

Key Players

Turmeric powder

The Turmeric power manufacturing is mostly done by micro enterprises and there are a number of players in each region. Additionally, most large spice powder manufacturers such as MDH spices, Everest Spices, Aachi Masala also sell turmeric powder.

Turmeric oleoresins and oils

This segment has a number of large players as well as SMEs.  The large companies extract oils from a number of spices and their products are targeted at export market. (See table 1). These are mostly based in Kerala, due to easy availability of spices. In addition to these large players, there are a number of SMEs that are spread across spice growing states such as Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat etc.

Table 1: Spice Extract manufacturers in Kerala
S. No.Company NameProduct RangeLocation
1.SynthiteValue added spice extracts and natural spice powderKolenchery, Kerala
2.Universal OleoresinsSpice Oils, Spice Oleoresins, natural coloursKochi, Kerala
3.Arjuna Natural ExtractsFormulations based on spice extractsAluva, Kerala
4.VD flavoursEssential oils from spicesKochi, Kerala
5.Plant LipidsSpice oils and oleoresinsKochi, Kerala
6.Kancor IngredientsOleo Resins, Essential Oils & Isolates, Mint, Menthol & Isolates, Floral Extracts, Speciality Ingredients, Organic Ingredients.Ernakulam, Kerala,
7.Plant Lipids.Spices and other Essential Oils.Kochi, Kerala
Source : FineTrain research

Key consumers of oleoresins in the domestic market include FMCG companies such as Hindustan Lever, Godrej, Colgate Pamolive, herbal products manufacturers such as Ayur Herbals, Dabur, Himalayan Drug Company, cosmetics product manufacturers such as Garnier Laboratories and pharmaceutical companies such as Dr. Reddys, Cipla etc.

Profitability and return on investment

The capital investment required for a Turmeric powder unit would be under Rs. 50 lakhs for a capacity of up to 2 tonnes per day. Since there is limited value addition in the powder manufacturing process and the manufacturer has to pay large commissions to distributors and retailers, the operating margins of such manufacturers would be thin and profitability would depend on their ability to sell large volumes.

Capital investment in Turmeric extraction capacity of 500 kg per day could be up to Rs. 2 crores. The profitability would depend on the spread between the oleo resin and Turmeric price and the yield of the extraction process.  A tonne of turmeric can yield anywhere 4-5% of extracts. Assuming that a tonne of turmeric yields 40 kgs of Curcumin (95%) and 30 litres of oil, the gross margin calculation is as under

Table 2. Turmeric Oleoresin Processing: Profitability
kgsPrice (Rs/kg)Value (Rs.)
Turmeric10009393,000
Solvents46,500
Total Raw material cost1,39,500
Oleo Resin4044981,79,920
Oil301003,000
Total revenue1,82,920
Spread (Oleoresin-Turmeric)43,420
Spread (%)24

Note: The prices of Turmeric and its Oleo resin are based on export data of 2017 provided by DGFT

The overall profitability and return on investment would depend on the producer’s ability to secure regular orders. Further, any value addition to the products by developing formulations based on the extracts can improve revenues as well as profitability.

Why Turmeric processing may be an attractive opportunity

Demand for Turmeric extracts is growing rapidly in foreign and domestic market. For example, India’s Turmeric extract exports have tripled over the past three years from Rs. 150 crores in FY 15 to Rs. 500 crores[2] in FY 18.

The infrastructure availability (cold storage, common infrastructure for grading and sorting of agri products) for food processing industry is improving as government is providing incentives for development of food parks/spice parks etc.  Further, food processing units are also being given incentives in the form of capital subsidies to set up and expand their businesses.

[1] Source: report on state wise/spice wise production by Spice Board Of India

[2]  DGFT data base: http://commerce-app.gov.in/eidb/ecomq.asp

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Business Partner for expanding your business in Gujarat

Contract manufacturing facility for Plastic Product moulding, extrusion and PVC wire cables

A well-established company from Bhavnagar, Gujarat is looking to partner with plastic product manufacturers who would like to expand their operations in Gujarat.

The company has well located 3,000 square meter factory near Bhavnagar Railway Station and necessary infrastructure for production and marketing of industrial as well as domestic products.

If you are looking to increase your footprint in Gujarat and would like to partner with local companies that can set up the production facility as well as market your products in Gujarat, do get in touch.

About Company

The company is a family owned enterprise with over 70 years experience in Textile Parts manufacturing and 30 years in trading of plastic products (PVC pipes and fittings and sanitary ware and bath fittings, water tank) The promoters are well versed in managing operations, labor and marketing related aspects of a manufacring business. The company has an established network among building material and textile industry in Bhavnagar.

Infrastructure

  • Factory area of 3,700 sqm including the built up area of 2600, sqm and open area is of 1100 sqm. The built up area includes office space of 150 sqm, godown of 700 sqm and the remaining 1650 sqm of workshop/shed.
  • Located just 1 km from Bhavnagar Railway Station, 3 km from Ahmedabad-Baroda Expressway and 8 kms from Bhavnagar airport,
  • The open area of 1100 sqm for parking and vehicle movement.
  • Connected power load of 20HP, which can be increased as per requirement.

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Business Opportunity : Corrugated Boxes

1. Introduction

Corrugated box refers to the ubiquitous brown box that brings your online shopping home. Such boxes are also extensively used by manufacturers of consumer and industrial goods to transport their products to their dealers. These boxes keep the contents safe and also serve as a marketing medium for the brand manufacturers.

Corrugated boxes are made from Kraft paper –  several layers of Kraft paper are glued together to make the board.  The board is then cut, folded and stitched/glued to make boxes. The boxes are called three ply, five ply, seven ply etc, depending on the number of layers of Kraft paper.Since the corrugated box manufacturers convert the Kraft paper into a box, they are also called convertors.

The quality of a box is measured by a number of parameters including BF (Burst factor that measures tear resistance of the box), RCT (Ring Crush Test that measures ability to withstand load) and a COBB value (which is its ability to absorb moisture).Quality requirements differ across customers: For example, while a FMCG customer may require the box to have high RCT (the boxes are carried in a truck and a box should be able to withstand the load of boxes placed on it) and low COBB values, the Consumer Appliance industry would need a box with a high BF that can protect valuable electronic parts.

2. Market

The Indian corrugated box industry converts about 4.7[1] million tonnes of Kraft paper per annum and the industry has been growing at a rate of 8-10% annually, which is the fastest among various segments of the paper industry.  Key end users include FMCG, textile, beverages, glass, tobacco and lately e-commerce. Since corrugated boxes are bulky products, they are typically transported within 300 kilometers of the production center, thereby making the industry very local/regional in nature.

The industry is divided into two types of players: automatic plants with a capacity of 1000 tonnes per month and above, and semi-automatic plants with a capacity of under 1000 tonnes per month. At present, there are over 375 automatic plants in the country and more than 10,000 semi-automatic plants[2]. Automatic plants have almost 40% of the share in the corrugated box market. Some of the large corrugators that have operations across the country include Horizon Packs Private Limited, Khemka Containers Limited, TGI Packaging Limitedand MNMTriple Wall Containers. In addition, there are local players that have both automated and semi-automated plants in each state.

The corrugation customers broadly fall into two categories:large corporate consumers such as FMCG, distillery, textile companies and SMEs(fruits and marine products exporters, injection moulded component manufacturers, food processors and consumer products manufacturers). The large customers are gradually shifting their purchases to automatic plants as they require lower lead time and can provide a product with better finish as compared to semi-automated plants.

3. Production process

The corrugated box manufacturing process comprises two steps: board manufacturing and converting the board into the box (See Figure 1).

Figure 1. Corrugated box Manufacturing Process

The capacity of a corrugation plant is defined by the length/width of the machine and its speed and thickness of paper that can be handled by the machine. A 350 meters per minute plant can churn up to 4,000 tonnes of corrugated board per month, when run continuously (24 hours).

There are a number of machinery suppliers both from within India and abroad. Typically, automated corrugation plants use machinery from China or Europe. Some of the popular international machinery manufacturers include BHS(Germany) and Fobster Group(China) for corrugation board and Bobst(Switzerland) and Dongfang(China) for conversion machinery.

4. Capital requirements and profitability

The capital requirements would depend on the capacity and automation levels of the plant. A European plant of capacity of 4000per tonne per month would require an investment of INR 20 Crore in machinery alone. Further as much capital would be needed for meeting other requirements including working capital, factory building, ware house etc.

The corrugation is a volume driven business and profitability would depend on the company’s ability to find bulk/anchor consumers who can buy in large volumes. The pricing flexibility (ability to raise the price) of the corrugators is limited as their customers are large corporates who work with a number of vendors and therefore enjoy high bargaining power. Additionally, the end users/customers have dedicated purchase departments that keep track of Kraft paper prices and cost structure of corrugators thus leaving little room for corrugators for margin expansion.

In order to breakeven, a corrugator should be able to run its plant at more than 30-40% capacity, which can be easily achieved if it has some anchor customers who can provide assured volumes.

5. Why corrugation may be an attractive opportunity

  • Corrugated boxes are environment friendly and currently do not have many substitutes except for shrink films (which are not as environment friendly but cheaper), which are mostly used only in case of PET bottles.
  • The demand for corrugation products is growing at over 9 per cent per annum. The demand growth is expected to remain strong in the near future given the growth in end user industry including FMCG, electronics, e-commerce etc.
  • Customer preference is shifting to large automated plants as these are able to meet the quality requirements and need lower lead time to supply the products as compared to smaller plants, thus resulting in a demand for large corrugation units.

However, before starting a unit, it is critical to study the local demand for corrugated products, potential customers and performance of the existing corrugators. The location of the plant should be chosen carefully keeping in mind the current and potential customers.  Second tier industries cities (that have textile, edible oil, distilleries) seem more attractive as compared to large cities as these already have a number of automatic corrugation plants.

6. How can we help?

If you are interested in starting a corrugated box manufacturing unit, we can assist you in the following

  • Market research to understand local demand supply
  • Viability study for entering a particular market
  • Assistance in developing the project proposal for funding and land allotment
  • Connecting you to technical experts who can offer execution support

[1] Source: Print week and Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA)

[2] Source: Print week, article dated 14th Sep 2017

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Export of Leather Products

Introduction

Indian leather sector is large, estimated at around USD 17.85 billion, with exports accounting for 30 per cent of its value. Indian leather exports which stood at 5.6 billion USD[1] (INR 38,468.7 Cr[2]) in FY 17 are expected to increase to USD 9 billion by 2020[3]. Our key export destinations include USA, Germany, UK and Spain. The USA market, which has been mainly served by China so far, has opened up to Indian exports as the increasing cost of production in China has given us an opportunity to increase the market share in US[4]

Leather exports from India comprise raw hides and skins, finished Leather, leather goods, and garments, footwear and components and saddlery and harness. The export of leather & leather products for the past 5 years is shown below in Chart 1.

Chart No. 1: Export of leather and leather products from India during 2012-17

The top four destinations for Indian leather products include USA, Germany, UK & Italy, which together have a share of 45% of our total exports. The exports which has peaked in 2014-15, have somewhat declined over the past 2 years, due to a slowdown in European economy.

Footwear (leather & non-leather) and footwear components account for the lion’s share of our exports, followed by leather goods & accessories. The product wise and country wise break up of exports is available in chart number 2 and 3.

Chart No. 2: Leather products exports from India

Chart No. 3: Leather products major export destinations

How to reach/expand in the international market

Since exports account for 30% of the total leather & leather products produced in India, there are a good numbers of Indian companies that are already exporting their goods. These companies are looking to expand their customer base. Further, there are several others that are planning to have their footprints in the international market.  The process of entering a foreign market comprises following steps.

Select the market

The selection of markets will be based upon the market size of the target country, competitiveness compared to other suppliers etc.The data on export markets for various products is depicted in Table 1.

Table No. 1 : Major export markets for leather & leather products during 2016 – 2017

Table No. 1 : Major export markets for Leather & Leather products
Chapter CodeProduct DescriptionCountry% share in India’s Exports (2016-2017)
41Raw Hides & Skins (Other than furskins) and LeatherHong Kong26.07%
Italy12.54%
China12.32%
Vietnam10.28%
Korea5.51%
42Articles of Leather, Saddlery & Harness; Travel Goods, Handbags and similar articles of animal gut (other than silk worm)USA20.08%
Germany14.99%
UK10.33%
Spain8.22%
France6.10%
43Furskins and Artificial Fur, manufactures thereofUSA27.22%
UAE11.74%
France9.95%
Germany7.95%
Denmark6.42%
64Footwear, Gaiters and the like; Parts of such articlesUSA16.48%
UK14.79%
Germany11.58%
France5.64%
Italy5.05%
Source : Dept. of commerce – Export Import Data Bank
Select the Sales Channel

Trade fairs remain the most popular channel to access foreign markets. However, there are a number of other channels that can also be used.

  1. Trade Fairs : Trade fairs are conducted to bring together members of particular industry to showcase and demonstrate their latest products and services, meet with industry partners & customers and explore opportunities. The upcoming leather fairs are : “India International Leather Fair – Chennai 2018”, International leather fair in Italy – “Lineapelle” etc.
  1. Challenge : Attending trade fairs in foreign countries can be very expensive.
  1. Buying Houses/Agents (Sales Rep’s) : These are the people who buy products on behalf of the customer (store, or brand) and can act as a bridge between the manufacturers & sellers/consumers.
  1. Pros : The manufacturer can concentrate on their core business and the agent takes up the remaining tasks, the cost of acquiring the customers is low.
  2. Cons : you have to invest time in doing the due diligence of the agent
  1. Partnering with Designers : It is one of the best ways to increase the footprints in the international market.
  1. Pros : Since leather products change with fashion, designers are able to help you understand the local requirements
  2. Cons : Finding suitable designer can be very challenging
  1. Direct selling to Retail Chain & Departmental Stores : Stores such as Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel, Habitat, Hallmark, Chicos, TESCO and The Conran Shop, procure leather goods from India.
  1. Pros : Volume of business is high, easy access to vast group of customers.
  2. Cons : Huge competition from other suppliers.
  1. Setting up a sales office in the export market : Opening a store in the export market.
  1. Pros : allows you to build customer relationship and brand value.
  2. Cons : Cost of setting up store is high
Obtain required Certifications

In the international market, buyers look for assurance about the product quality and practices used in product development. Some of the certifications are listed below in table no.2

Table No. 2: Certifications& Description
CertificationDescription
REACH ComplianceRegistration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) is a European Union regulation that addresses the production and use of chemical substances, and their potential impacts on both human health and the environment.One of the major elements of the REACH regulation is the requirement to communicate information on chemicals up and down the supply chain. This ensures that manufacturers, importers, and also their customers are aware of information relating to health and safety of the products supplied.
SA 8000This is an auditable certification standard that encourages organizations to develop, maintain, and apply socially acceptable practices in the workplace. It measures the performance of companies in eight areas important to social accountability in the workplace: child labor, forced labor, health and safety, free association and collective bargaining, discrimination, disciplinary practices, working hours and compensation
ISOA family of standards related to quality, occupational health and safety, environmental standards, labour standards etc
Avail of Export Promotion Schemes by the Govt.

The government has developed schemes to reduce associated costs in reaching the international markets. Some of the schemes are listed in table no.3.

Table No. 3: The schemes from the GOI to promote exports
SchemeDescription
Market Access Initiative (MAI)Financial assistance is provided for export promotion activities to Export promotion councils, Industry & Trade Associations, etc.
Marketing Development Assistance (MDA)Financial assistance is available for exporters having an annual export turnover up to Rs. 30 Cr for participating in trade fairs, buyer seller meets organized by EPC’s/ Trade promotion organizations.
Indian Footwear, Leather & Accessories Development Programme (IFLADP) for 2017-20Provides international branding support to leading Indian manufacturers in Leather, Footwear and accessories, available to companies with annual turnover of over Rs. 75 crores

How can we Help?

If you are interested in expanding your businesses of leather & leather products to the international market, we can assist you in the following

  • Identifying potential markets for your products
  • Viability study for entering a particular market
  • Assistance in generating a list of potential buyers and in scheduling meetings
  • Assistance in connecting to designers and sales representatives who can sell your products in their country

[1] Council for Leather Exports (CLE)

[2] 1 USD = INR 67.90

[3] www.makeinIndia.com

[4] Indian leather units see opportunity in exports to US, other markets – Article by  Business Standard

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Business opportunity : Natural gums and Resins

Introduction

Natural gums are plant products, formed by the disintegration of plant cellulose. These are typically extracted from seeds of plants like Guar, Tamarind, Cassia tora, etc. These are polysaccharides that increase the viscosity of solutions even when added in very small quantities. Natural gums are preferred over synthetic gums in food applications.

The natural resins, gums, gum-resins (NRG) and balsam’s global market are estimated to be about 1358.44 million USD. India is the second largest supplier of natural resins & gums in international market, with a share of 16.8%, next to France, which has a market share of 26%[1]. In India, the Guar gum has a lion’s share in total NRG production as well as in exports. Therefore, the focus of this blog is on guar gum.

Guar gum-Industry at a Glance

India enjoys monopoly in the Guar gum industry with a market share of over 80%, as it has the most suitable climate for Guar gum cultivation. The Guar industry is driven by the export market, as more than 70% of domestic production is exported. The major export destinations are USA, China, Canada, Germany & Russia. Rajasthan is the largest guar producing state followed by Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab. Rajasthan alone accounts for 70% of the total production in India.

Guar Seed Cross – section and Process flow

The guar seed has 3 parts – Germ (40-45% of the weight), Endosperm (38-45%) and Husk (14-16%), as shown in figure – 1. The gum powder is produced from endosperm in a two stage process. In the first stage, the guar splits are produced and the by-product is Guar Meal (67%) (Korma – 37% & Churi – 30%). The splits are then pulverized into gum powder, and the powder is further processed into various derivatives.

Figure 1: Guar gum seed break up

Derivatives of Guar Gum & Industry specific application

Guar gum has wide range of applications in Food Industry, Textiles, Oil well drilling, Cosmetics & Pharmaceuticals, Paper, Mining, Construction and Explosives. The derivatives of guar gum powder are grouped into Non-ionic, Anionic and Cationic.

Figure 2: Derivatives of Guar gum

The applications in various industries are listed in Table1.

Table 1: Applications of Guar Gum
IndustryUses
FoodThickening, gelling, emulsifying agent and stabilizer
TextileSizing & Finishing agent
Oil well drillingFluid loss controlling agent, additives in fracturing fluids. Fast Hydration Grade is used
Pharmaceuticalstablet binders, disintegrants, emulsifier, suspending agent, gelling agent, stabilizing agent, thickening agent, film forming agent, sustaining agent and coating agent
CosmeticsConditioner and viscosifier, thickener in toothpastes & shampoos
PaperTo get better finish, improved sheet formation, increased bursting & fold strength and denser surface for printing

Demand & Supply

Guar consumption was been around 22.7 lakh tonnes in the year 2016-17. The consumption is volatile and varies depending on the export market, which accounts for more than 70% of the domestic production. The graph depicts the trends in consumption of guar seed in the past decade.

Chart 1: Consumption of Guar seed in export and domestic markets from India

Globally, oil and gas industry is the biggest user and domestically food industry is the largest consumer of Guar gum. (See chart 2&3). The sector wise demand of guar gum powder in international & domestic market is shown below in Chart 2 & 3.

Chart 2 & 3: % application across industries in Domestic & International markets

On the supply side, there are more than 600 guar processing units in India with an installed capacity of around 10 lakh tonnes. The present capacity utilization of the industry is less than 50%, due to weak demand from the export markets. However, the demand is expected to increase due to increasing oil prices, which result in higher capital expenditure on oil exploration related activities.

Price Volatility of Guar Gum

The prices of guar gum powder is highly volatile (see chart 4) and are a function of factors such as crop cultivation, shale oil and gas exploration, availability and price of substitutes, etc. The users shift to the substitutes based on price competitiveness. But guar gum has its own advantages, for example: Guar gum is soluble in both hot and cold water as against Tamarind Kernel Powder (TKP), which is soluble only in hot water. The various substitutes to guar gum are discussed in Table 2,

Table 2: Substitutes to Guar gum
IndustryUses
TextileCMS (Carboxy Methyl Starch), CMTKP (Carboxy Methyl Tamarind Kernel Powder) and Sodium Alginate
PaperTKP, Potato Starch, etc
FoodXanthan Gum, Agar , CMC (Carboxy Methyl Cellouse)
CosmeticsTKP
Shale Oil& Gas ExplorationSynthetic Polymers

Chart No.4: Per kg [2] variation of Guar gum prices over a period of years

 

Guar Gum v/s TKP

Among natural gum, Guar gum faces competition from TKP. TKP is derived from the tamarind seed. It has excellent water absorption property and high viscosity as well. The application includes, thickening agent in sizing process of textile & printing industry and binding agent in pharmaceutical industry. The detailed comparison of Guar Gum & TKP is shown in Table No.3,

Investment

The minimum viable capacity is 6TPD (6 tonne per day) and the investment required to setup guar gum powder from Guar splits is INR 4 Cr, including the civil structure, machinery and working capital. The capital cost would increase by INR 2-3 Cr, if one is manufacturing the powder directly from the seed due to the additional investment in plant & machinery and working capital. The Breakeven period is more than 5 years.

Profitability & Governing factors

The profitability depends on the conversion margins, or the spread[3] between the guar gum and guar seed price. The spread has been volatile and has ranged between 1.4 times to 3 times over the past decade.  The profit margin can be increased by having control over the seed price, by engaging with farmers in contract farming. The profits/high returns can also be improved by making value added products for specific industry such as dairy/oil.

Why Guar Gum is an interesting opportunity?

The international demand for Guar Gum from oil and gas sector is likely to increase following higher oil prices.  The demand from food sector from both domestic and international markets is likely to remain strong.

Given the availability of idle domestic capacity, one could look at purchasing or leasing existing units, thereby reducing the initial capital investment. Instead, the investment could be made towards research and development to develop new derivatives for food and other applications.

How Can We Help?

If you are interested in starting up natural gum manufacturing unit, we can assist you in the following:

  • Identifying potential markets including domestic as well as international.
  • Detailed project report preparation – Financial analysis, Profit & Loss statements for a period of 7 years, calculation of ROI, etc.
  • Identifying existing units that are available for sale and in valuation of such units

[1]As per ICAR – Indian Institute of Natural Resins & Gums report

[2] In the year 2012-13, the price of guar gum hit all time high, this is due to the huge demand from the oil exploration companies.

[3] Spread is the ratio of guar gum to guar seed prices

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Plastic Products export:Opportunities for SMEs

Introduction

Plastics are the 6th largest traded products, globally.  Indian plastic exports are estimated to be around $ 7.6 billion[1] (Rs. 45,000 crores), accounting for around 3 per cent of our total exports. Top destinations for Indian plastics include USA, China, UAE and United Kingdom. There are over 2300 exporters[2] in India, largely located in Maharashtra and Gujarat. The exporters include both large manufacturers such as Garware-Wall Ropes Ltd, Supreme industries Limited and a number of small and medium enterprises.

Figure 1: Plastic exports-product wise and country wise breakup

Source : Plastics Export Promotion Council

[1] In FY 16

[2] There are around 2300 exporters registered with the Plastics Export Promotion Council

Raw materials (polymers) account for around 30 per cent of our plastics export and value added products for the remaining 70 per cent. Among value added products, plastic sheets, woven sacks, table and kitchenware are the key products.  The exports of these products have increased at a CAGR of around 12-20 per in the past decade (Table 1)

Table 1.  Growth in key categories  of Plastics (INR crs.)
HS codeItem2006-072016-17CAGR (%)
39269099Miscellaneous plastic products315.822,093.4120.82
39232990Plastic sacks bags439.731,964.3116.15
39269080PP articles such as woven sacks226.711,191.7318.05
39239090Plastic articles for conveyance and packaging such as crates160.16615.8114.42
39219099Plastic sheets, films, foils strips, plates, etc.30.33575.6934.22
39241090Tableware Kitchenware55.58505.7824.71
39219096Laminated Flexible packaging items (plates, sheets, films, foils, strips. Etc.)58.93393.8420.92
3917Tube , Pipes and Hoses and fittings284.99947.1912.76
39241010Plastic insulated Tableware Kitchenware89.81386.2415.71
Source : Directorate General of Foreign trade

How To Tap The Export Market

Entering the foreign requires a lot of preparation towards market research and product development, as the products have to meet the requirements of new customers, who may have different standards of quality, design and product packaging.  Also, diversifying into exports entails extensive documentation of company’s processes related to quality, purchase and sales, thus requiring a few dedicated resources. As such, venturing into export market comprises following steps:

Select The Market

Markets can be selected based on size of the opportunity, ease of entry and company’s competitiveness vis a vis other suppliers. The below given graph highlights key markets for various plastic products.

Table 2. Top  export markets  for key Plastics products
HS codeItemCountryCountry’s share in Indian plastics  exports
39269099Miscellaneous plastic productsU. S.21%
Canada6%
UAE4%
39232990Plastic sacks & bagsU.K13%
U.S.A8%
Canada6%
39239090Plastic articles for conveyance and packaging such as plastic cratesU K12%
U A E10%
U S A9%
39269080PP articlesU S A61%
Spain5%
Brazil5%
Source : Directorate General of Foreign trade

As can be seen, the key markets are different for each category of product, for example in FY16, UK accounted for the highest share in exports for plastic bags and sacks, whereas USA was the largest buyer for polypropylene (PP) products.  One can do a detailed market analysis to understand the key consumer countries as well as other suppliers that are supplying to the same market and the competitiveness of your goods vis a vis other suppliers.The competitiveness of the product also gets impacted by the trade and non-trade barriers as explained below.

Trade Barriers

These refers to custom related tariffs, anti-dumping duties that are imposed on the imported products by the countries so as to protect their domestic industry. For example, recently Govt of USA announced its plans to levy a tariff of 25% on imported steel and a 10% of Tariff on imported Aluminium products from a number of countries except Canada, Mexico.

However, the import tariffs are typically lower among trading partners who are party to different agreements such as Free Trade agreements (FTA), Comprehensive Economic Agreement (CEA) etc.   For example, India has trade agreementswith a number of countries including ASEAN, whereby the tariff on a number of products among the ASEAN countries is gradually being brought down to zero. Many of ASEAN members are importers of plastics (HS code 39) and India currently has very limited share in these markets (see Table 4), thereby presenting an opportunity.

Table 3. Plastic imports by ASEAN countries , 2016
CountryCountry wise Plastic imports from the world ($ mn)Country wise plastics imports from India ($ mn)Share of India  in plastic  imports
Indonesia6999.8096.801.40%
Malaysia6827.6032.100.50%
Myanmar582.608.301.40%
Philippines3061.6014.000.50%
Singapore6687.3049.300.70%
Thailand8034.2081.001.00%
Vietnam9614.6087.800.90%
Source : Strengthening ASEAN-India Partnerships: Trends and Future prospects, a report by Export-Import bank of India
Non Trade Barriers

These refers to legislations/other technical requirements that make it very expensive for Indian products to access a particular market. For example the cost of certifications of food grade plastics products in US and Europe are high at around $ 4000-5000 per product per year[1], thus making it very difficult for Indian SMEs to target these markets.

As such it may be easier for a new exporters to start with Asian markets, where the customers’ preferences are similar to India. However a detailed analysis of market size and competitiveness of our products vis a vis other suppliers is a must.

Market Entry Strategy

Having selected the market, a company can choose to enter the market by directly contacting the buyer, selling to a local distributor or participating in a joint venture with a local partner.The trade fairsand buyer’s sellers meet are commonly used by SMEs to identify the buyers as well as test market their products. Some of the trade fairs related to plastics industry include National Plastics Exhibition (NPE), USA, Chinaplas (a plastics and rubber trade fare in China) and Plastindia (Plastic trade fare in India).

The ministry of MSME offers a number of schemes to exporters for market development assistance including exposure visits to foreign markets and concessions in stall charges and air fare to participate in exhibition. These schemes are administrated by Plastics Export Promotion Council (PLEXCONCIL) or Federation of Indian exporters (FIEO), who also organise trade fares in India and facilitate meeting with international buyers.

Meet The Technical Requirements

The exporters need to comply with the technical requirements of the destination country and obtain relevant product certifications. These certifications can be broadly divided into two parts: certifications related to process and safety such as ISO and product related certifications.In general, product certifications required for US and Europe markets are more stringent than those needed for Asian, African and other markets. A summary of important certifications across plastic products is provided below.

Table 4. Technical Certifications  for plastics products
CountryCertifications
Injection moulded productsISO  and product certification based on applications
Pipes and fittingsWater Regulation Advisory Scheme (WARS) for UK, NSF for USA, DVGW for Germany
Food grade plasticsUS FDA guidelines, European Commission (EC ) guidelines
ToysConsumer product safety improvement act (CPSIA) in USA,  EU Toy Safety Directive in Europe
Woven sacksLabour data certificate for FIBC (Flexible intermediate bulk container)
Source : Discussion with NSF officials  and FineTrain research

Estimate The Capital Investment And Profitability Of Export Market

The costs can be divided into two categories:  fixed cost and variable costs. The fixed cost or capital investment required for the export market would depend on the product adaptations/customisations, certification costs and working capital requirements.The working capital cycle can be up to 3 months including the time realised in getting the payment from the buyers as well as for claiming refunds/incentives from the government.

The price of the product in foreign markets should factor the costs such as   commercial costs (shipping, packaging, and duties, insurance), marketing costs over and above the product cost.The marketing expenses such as cost of catalog, samples and visits to the destination country can add up to a significant chunk.

Some of the common costs that are incurred by the exporters include transport cost from factory to port of departure, import duty and taxes, custom clearance, ground transportation from port to customer’s warehouse and marketing agent’s commission.

As such the exporter needs to factor in both fixed and variable before quoting the price and also estimate the minimum volumes they need to sell to recover their costs.

Secure The Order And Finalise Trade Terms

Once the buyer is interested in your product, the next steps would be to finalise the trade terms also known as Incoterms. These typically define the responsibilities of buyers and sellers and costs and risks undertaken by each party.  Some of the commonly used terms include EXW (pricing is ex-factory and buyer is responsible for the transport/insurance), FOB (Free on Board, pricing includes cost of transport till the port of origin) and CIF (Cost insurance and freight, the pricing includes the freight costs and insurance required for transporting the goods to destination).

How Can We Help?

If you are interested in exporting your plastics products, we can assist you in the following

  • Identifying potential markets for your products
  • Viability study for entering a particular market
  • Assistance in generating a list of potential buyers and in scheduling meetings

[1] Based on discussions with NSF International’s office in India

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Change in MSME definition: Does it help the sector?

The union cabinet recently approved a change in the definition (see Table 1) of Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSME), to base it on their turnover as against investment in fixed assets. The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006 will be amended accordingly to reflect the new definition. A change in definition of MSME assumes significance as it is used to provide a number of incentives such as capital, interest and technology/market promotion subsidy by the central and state governments.

Table 1: MSME definition
EnterpriseEarlier definitionNew definition
MicroManufacturing enterprises: Investment in plant and machinery< INR 25 lakhs
Service enterprises: Investment in equipment/machinery<INR 10 lakh
Annual Turnover< INR 5 crore
SmallManufacturing enterprises:Investment in plant and machinery between INR 25 lakhs and INR 5 crore
Service enterprises:Investment in equipment between INR10 lakhs and INR 2 crore
Annual turnover between INR 5 crore and INR75 crore
MediumManufacturing enterprise: investment in plant and machinery between INR 5 crores and 10 crore
Service enterprises: investment in equipment between INR  2 crores and 5 crores
Annual Turnover between INR 75 croreand 250 crore
Note: Turnover of enterprises is likely to be calculated based on GST returns

The new classification may result in many medium enterprises being classified as small enterprises (or small getting classified as micro) based on their turnover. Such reclassification would be positive for enterprises in sectors such as engineering, machine fabrication, apparel, construction contractors etc, where a large number of MSMEs are vendors to public sector enterprises (PSUs). These PSUs reserve 20 per cent of their procurement requirements for micro and small enterprises.

Further, a turnover based definition coupled with incentives for filing GST will encourage MSMEs to file taxes and transact through bank accounts, resulting in improved information availability on the sector for the policy makers. The GST filings of 2017-18, already show an increase of almost 50 per cent in the number of unique indirect tax payers.

The most significant impact though would be on state governments who would now have to revise their industrial policies that currently offer incentives to new enterprises based on their investment in plant and machinery. These policies could broadly be divided into two categories:

  • Capital investment subsidies (subsidies on machinery, building); and
  • Interest related subsidies where loans given to micro and small enterprises attract lower interest rates.

For example Government of Telangana offers Interest subsidy under Pavala vaddi on the term loan taken for fixed asset by new micro and small enterprises. The amount of loan is currently governed by the investment guidelines as defined by the MSME Development Act, 2006. This scheme may have to beredesigned to reflect the new MSME definition. Similarly, central government schemes such as PMEGP (Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme) that provide subsidy to micro and small enterprises will also have to be revised accordingly.

As such, the change to a more transparent mechanism based on turnover is a welcome step as it would make it easier for MSMEs to grow and transition from micro to small and medium enterprises. Further, unlike earlier definition which incentivised enterprises to remain small (as the incentive decreased with the increase in fixed assets), the new definition would likelystimulate investment in the sector.

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BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY – TABLE SAUCES

Table sauce is a common condiment for a number of products such as bakery, Chinese food and fast food. It is typically used to add flavour or texture while cooking or dipping. Broadly, there are four categories of sauces

  • Tomato Ketchup & Sauce
  • Chinese Sauces
  • Pizza, Pasta & Barbeque Sauces
  • Mayonnaise and other bread spreads

Industry

The table sauce category in India, estimated to over INR 1000 crores is growing at over 20 per cent per annum[1]. Tomato sauce accounts for over 65% of the table sauce consumption, other categories (such as Chinese sauces, Mayonnaise), while relatively smaller in size are also growing rapidly.

Innovation in variants and packaging is the key driver for the growth of this industry. For example Nestle has introduced a number of variants of its tomato sauce (no onion tomato sauce, hot and sweet tomato sauce, masala sauce, tamarind sauce) over the years. The company has also launched pichkoo, where the sauce is packaged in flexible packaging material, thus allowing it to be squeezed easily. Similarly, Dr. Oteker, India (manufacturer of Fun food brand of products) offers a large variety of products including mayonnaises, sauces, spreads, salad dressings, cakes, dessert toppings. For its mayonnaise range alone, the company sells 8 flavours.

Sauce manufacturers have two business models: Business to Business (B to B) and Business to Consumer (B to C). Small and medium enterprises typically start with supplying to businesses and then go retail. For example, Fun foods has been associated with subway in developing customized variants of sauces. Veeba foods, a recent entrant in the market which supplies sauces and dips to restaurants and fast-food chains, recently raised $6 million and forayed in retail segment through its own VEEBA brand[2].

[1] http://www.hindustantimes.com/business/catch-up-with-ketchup/story-aGK6GS2v14sgCWbQEb3t7O.html.

[2] http://www.livemint.com/Companies/caIm09B3bTK9bLkVuhppKI/Veeba-Food-raises-6-million-from-Verlinvest-otheINRhtml.

Why is table sauce manufacturing an attractive opportunity?

Increasing customer appreciation for western cuisine has resulted in a growth of sauces, dressings and condiments industry. International cuisines such as Italian, Mexican and Thai are gaining popularity which in turn act as demand drivers for specialised sauces and dressings.  Given the market growth, many multinational fast food chains (Wendy’s, Taco bells) have entered India in the past five years.  India is the second largest market for Domino’s Pizza after the US.

Besides consuming the sauces as part of eating out, consumers are also purchasing these sauces to use them for food preparation. The cooking sauce (soya sauce, pasta sauce) category makes up around 33 per cent of the sauce market. Supermarkets and convenience stores have become popular channels for purchase of such products.

Where is the table sauce manufacturers located?

The industry can be categorised into two types of players: large FMCG multinational companies such as HLL, Nestle that dominate tomato ketchup market and other players (see Table 1) such as Dr. Oetker, Delmonte specialising in specific category of sauces. Most of the manufacturing units are located in Maharashtra, Haryana and New Delhi.

Down south, post bifurcation, both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have been focussing on developing food processing sector by offering financial incentives to the food processing industry and developing industrial infrastructure. Although these two states together account for almost 20 per cent of food processing factories in the country, they don’t have many table sauce manufacturing units, thus making it an attractive opportunity to set up a sauce manufacturing unit here.

Table 1: Manufacturers of Table Sauces (other than ketchup)
S. No.Company NameBrand and Product RangeRemarks
1Field Fresh foods Pvt Ltd, Gurgaon, HaryanaDelmonte:Pasta Sauces, mayonnaise & Ketch upA joint venture between Bharti enterprises (Telecom major) and Philippines-based Del Monte Pacific Limited, turnover over INR 500 crores
2Capital Foods Limited, Mumbai, Maharashtra.Ching’s Secret & Smith & jones: Soups, pastes & saucesManufactures Chinese sauces, revenue of around INR 500 crores[1]
3Dr. Oetker India Pvt Ltd, New DelhiFun foods: Mayonnaise, Italian sauces, sandwich spreads, Chinese sauces, salad dressingsA German company that acquired Fun Foods, an Indian manufacturer of table sauces in 2008, current revenue of over INR 150 crores [2]
4Cremica Food Industries Pvt. Ltd, Ludhiana, PunjabCremica: Ketchup, Pizza & pasta sauce, salad dressingsStarted as a homebased enterprise, current turn over more than INR 200 crores[3].
Source: FineTrain Research

[1]https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/capital-foods-targets-rs-500-cr-revenue-this-fiscal/articleshow/57250985.cms

[2]https://brandequity.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/business-of-brands/dr-oetker-eyes-rs-1000-crore-sales-by-2020/55659035

[3]http://www.livemint.com/Companies/Hac0C64hqGcuBbGmzuU40N/Cremica-Food-Industries-raises-15-million.html

Manufacturing process and capital requirements

Sauces can be prepared from varied range of items such as eggs, vegetables, fruits, beans, milk etc. as shown in Figure1.

Figure 1: Sauce Manufacturing Process

In addition to the processing machinery discussed above, the manufacring facility needs to have infrastructure including cold storage, waste water treatment facilities and a strong R&D team. The budget required for an entry level capacity of around 1 tonne per day would be over INR 2 crore.

Key Success factors

Critical success factors for this business include:

  • Nimbleness in identifying variants
  • Good relationships with exiting suppliers and customers
  • Building up a niche segment
  • A strong R&D team that can develop new products
  • Adequate financing to meet large working capital needs

How we can help you

If you are interested in setting up a table sauce manufacturing unit, we can assist you in the following:

  • Competitive landscape
  • Financial viability
  • Location analysis
  • Market entry strategy
  • Regulatory issues and government incentives
  • Detailed project report preparation
  • Support in project execution

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Call us: 800 888 4932

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